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9. Serengeti

The nicest tent I have ever slept in


View African Adventure on debinnh travels's travel map.

The view of the Serengeti was not what I expected when we were flying over it. The section of the park where the airstrip was had controlled fires the week before, so everything was scorched. But before we could land, just in case, the pilot had to buzz the runway to scare off any animals that might be on it.

We had a game drive on the way to the camp and and the highlight was a beautiful leopard up in a tree, it was spooked my our arrival and jumped down and ran off. We were greeted at the Serengeti Migration Camp by the camp staff and then shown to our "tents" for the next two nights. The tents did have canvas roof and walls, but that was the extent of these being tents. It was set up on a platform, so we had a deck that faced out to a hippo pool in the river. Normally during migration season the animals migrating would be nearby and crossing that river, but this year the season was off due to the rains being late, and the animals had passed through about two weeks before we arrived. None the less, there were hippos in the pool that could be heard at night, and we had warthogs, buffalo, dwarf mongoose and hyrax visit just outside our door.

We had one glitch for the entire trip. Rick and I had pre-paid for a hot air balloon flight and found out when we checked in that it was the same time the rest of the group were going on a drive to try and see the migration and a water crossing. Due to the seasonal change that caused the animals to leave the Serengeti early the balloon flight and the water crossing were in opposite directions and there would be no way to meet up after our flight. We were not leaving the camp until 4pm the next day, so asked if we could take the balloon ride the next day instead. The camp director tried contacting the company and I emailed my travel agent to see if they could make the change. They were not able to find out by dinner and we had to make a decision on what to do. We decided to go with the group to see the migration, since that was the main reason we went on this safari. We would not get reimbursed for the flight, but we were willing to do that.

We headed out at 7am and went to find the animals. We saw lots of animals again, including a huge elephant with amazingly long tusks. We saw the gathering of wildebeest at the river's edge at three different locations, but they never crossed, much to our disappointment. During our lunch stop in the bush, the parade of wildebeest passed by as we were eating. We headed to where the Serengeti and Masaai Mara meet and again saw the masses of running wildebeest that we saw when we were in Kenya. On the way back we continued to see so many animals, the Serengeti was amazing.

Back at camp we had some down time before meeting for drinks before dinner. The camp director confirmed that he had not heard back from the balloon company and that we would do a guided walk in the morning instead. We enjoyed our final dinner together with our new friends and as dessert was being ordered the director came and announced that he finally heard from the company and our balloon ride was on for the morning! Rick and I said our goodbyes, because we now had a 4am wake up call and would not see them at breakfast.

The balloon ride was fun, and we saw a great variety of animals, but not great quantities. The pilot said that two weeks earlier there were masses of animals to be seen, oh well, next trip! We enjoyed champagne on the balloon while we were floating over the Serengeti, then were treated to a delicious champagne breakfast in the bush after we landed. We got back to camp in time to have lunch, then we headed out on our final game drive on our way to the airstrip. Our final siting was a lioness watching over her fresh zebra kill, waiting for the pride to come eat. We waited for a while, but we had a plane to catch, so we did not get to see the pride show up. Off to climb a mountain!

Comments: The Tanzania Wing safari was very extravagant, but I really liked flying between the camps, it gave us so much more drive time in the bush and we got to see the beauty of the country from above. I also enjoyed the luxury of the camps, but was fine with the ones we had in Kenya as well. The down side of flying was that we did not get to see as much of the country (from ground level) as we did in Kenya. What we did see, Tanzania seemed to be a little better off, sightly better main roads, but the side roads were still ruddy dirt roads. We had one opportunity to see one arts and crafts shop, but it was more high end and government run as opposed to the little shops on the side of the road that we stopped at in Kenya. The other difference is we had different guides/drivers at each camp rather that one for the entire safari. This meant they did not know what we had already seen and what we were looking for, and we didn't get to know them as much as we did the single guide in Kenya.

Day 1

Serengeti: A burnt landscape, we arrived a few days after a controlled burn in this part of the park

Serengeti: A burnt landscape, we arrived a few days after a controlled burn in this part of the park

Serengeti:  Warthog kneeling to eat - they cannot bend their necks

Serengeti: Warthog kneeling to eat - they cannot bend their necks

Serengeti: A Thompson's gazelle buck

Serengeti: A Thompson's gazelle buck


Serengeti: A watchful leopard in a tree

Serengeti: A watchful leopard in a tree


Serengeti: The leopard jumped out of the tree and ran away

Serengeti: The leopard jumped out of the tree and ran away


Serengeti:  The leopard running away

Serengeti: The leopard running away

Serengeti:  Elephants and Acacias

Serengeti: Elephants and Acacias

Serengeti:  A dik-dik with a mohawk

Serengeti: A dik-dik with a mohawk

Serengeti: A large herd of cape buffalo

Serengeti: A large herd of cape buffalo


Serengeti: Migration Camp

Serengeti: Migration Camp


Serengeti: The Migration Camp welcoming committee

Serengeti: The Migration Camp welcoming committee


Serengeti:  Our Migration Camp tent

Serengeti: Our Migration Camp tent

Serengeti:  Our tent living room area

Serengeti: Our tent living room area

Serengeti:  Our tent bedroom

Serengeti: Our tent bedroom

Day 2:

Serengeti: A Hadada ibis

Serengeti: A Hadada ibis

Serengeti:  Two hippos with our tent in the background

Serengeti: Two hippos with our tent in the background


Serengeti: A giraffe nibbling on a tree

Serengeti: A giraffe nibbling on a tree

Serengeti: A huge elephant hiding in the trees - check out his long tusks!

Serengeti: A huge elephant hiding in the trees - check out his long tusks!


Serengeti:  two elephants

Serengeti: two elephants

Serengeti:  A lion and his mate sleep while all the other animals eat

Serengeti: A lion and his mate sleep while all the other animals eat


Serengeti:  Shaking the flies away

Serengeti: Shaking the flies away


Serengeti: The wildebeest running

Serengeti: The wildebeest running


Serengeti: The plains of the Serengeti

Serengeti: The plains of the Serengeti

Serengeti: Elephants and a Topi

Serengeti: Elephants and a Topi


Serengeti:  Lunch in the bush

Serengeti: Lunch in the bush

Serengeti: The wildebeest migration passing by during lunch

Serengeti: The wildebeest migration passing by during lunch


Serengeti: Wildebeest migration looking towards the Maasai Mara

Serengeti: Wildebeest migration looking towards the Maasai Mara

Serengeti: More wildebeest running

Serengeti: More wildebeest running

Serengeti:  The top crocodile was hanging out getting its photo taken when the second one popped up!

Serengeti: The top crocodile was hanging out getting its photo taken when the second one popped up!


Serengeti:  We wanted to see a river crossing, a water hole crossing is just not the same...

Serengeti: We wanted to see a river crossing, a water hole crossing is just not the same...


Serengeti: A von der Deckens hornbill

Serengeti: A von der Deckens hornbill


Serengeti: A sunset from our deck

Serengeti: A sunset from our deck

Serengeti: Sundowners on the deck

Serengeti: Sundowners on the deck

Day 3:

Serengeti:  Balloon glow in the early morning

Serengeti: Balloon glow in the early morning


Serengeti: Sunrise over Serengeti

Serengeti: Sunrise over Serengeti

Serengeti: A dried riverbed seen from the balloon

Serengeti: A dried riverbed seen from the balloon


Serengeti: Zebra spotting from the balloon

Serengeti: Zebra spotting from the balloon


Seregeti: Some elephants saying good morning to us up in the balloon

Seregeti: Some elephants saying good morning to us up in the balloon


Serengeti:  A topi doesn't seem to be bothered by the balloon

Serengeti: A topi doesn't seem to be bothered by the balloon


Serengeti: Massed hippos from the balloon

Serengeti: Massed hippos from the balloon


Serengeti: Find the baby!

Serengeti: Find the baby!

Serengeti:  A Giraffe near the balloon shadow

Serengeti: A Giraffe near the balloon shadow


Serengeti:  A cape buffalo running from the balloon

Serengeti: A cape buffalo running from the balloon


Serengeti: Champagne breakfast in the bush after the balloon flight

Serengeti: Champagne breakfast in the bush after the balloon flight


Serengeti:  A lioness protecting her kill, waiting for the pride

Serengeti: A lioness protecting her kill, waiting for the pride


Serengeti:  We have the plane to ourselves on our final flight back to Arusha

Serengeti: We have the plane to ourselves on our final flight back to Arusha

Posted by debinnh travels 09:39 Archived in Tanzania

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